Laser projector optimises manufacturing

The TracerM laser projector from Faro Technologies enables users to perform positioning, alignment and assembly tasks, quickly, accurately and safely.

Faro’s TracerM projects a laser on to a surface or 3D object, providing a virtual template that allows companies to improve productivity, reduce waste and eliminate rework. The laser template is created using a 3-D CAD model that facilitates the projection of a detailed laser contour of components or areas of interest, removing the need for physical templates and tools, and reducing the potential for human error.
TracerM provides long-range projection from 1.8 to 15.2 m. The device includes Faro’s Advanced Trajectory Control (ATC) function, which ensures fast projection with dynamic accuracy and a rapid refresh rate, minimising the ‘flicker’ associated with other systems.
Faro’s 3D laser projector can also be used in series for use on large assemblies; multiple TracerM devices can be controlled from a single workstation to provide a virtual template in a single (or shared) co-ordinate system.
For further information

3D scanning CMM introduced

Creaform, which is represented in the UK by Measurement Solutions, has launched the Cube-R automated dimensional inspection solution.

This optical 3D measuring machine utilises the Creaform MetraScan 3D-R metrology scanner for parts ranging from 1 to 3 m in size. The company says that Cube-R delivers both speed and volumetric accuracy, offering a realistic and comprehensive alternative to CMMs and other robot-mounted, structured-light 3D scanners.
According to Creaform, Cube-R can inspect several hundred parts a day, even on dark or reflective parts with complex geometry. Importantly, the machine offers simultaneous operation of data acquisition and analysis as part of a continuous and uninterrupted measurement flow. There is said to be no accuracy drift over time.
“Quality control managers are looking for integrated solutions that enable the detection of assembly problems earlier in the manufacturing process, all while reducing waste and downtime to ensure better productivity and higher product quality,” says Jérôme-Alexandre Lavoie, product manager at Creaform. “The Cube-R was designed with that in mind. It is the latest addition to our R-Series automated inspection solutions, which also include technology integration for clients seeking customised dimensional measurement solutions.”
For further information

CT for process control in AM

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) company Sintavia has installed a Nikon Metrology computed tomography (CT) system at its facility in Florida, US to help control the AM process.

Using powder-bed AM with electron and laser-beam melting, Sintavia currently manufactures components from Inconel 718 and 625, aluminium, titanium, cobalt-chrome, stainless steel and other proprietary powders.
AM allows special internal designs to be realised, such as conformal cooling channels, lattice networks, hollow members and other complex geometries. Both additive and traditional manufacturing can result in microscopic voids and gaps within the structure, which can cause stress fractures and reduce the longevity of a component’s lifecycle. All of these internal features can only be inspected non-destructively with CT scanning.
Sintavia has installed a 450 kVA micro-focus CT (micro-CT) system from Nikon Metrology. By converting 2D pixels to 3D voxels, supplying a full 3D density map of the samples, the technique presents information in a visual, easy-to-interpret format and shows any departure from the CAD model. It is said to be straightforward to detect and measure powder residues blocking channels, porosity, contamination, cracking, warping, and dimensions such as wall thickness to an accuracy within tens of microns. Given a 100 mm sample and a detector 2000 pixels across, the limiting resolution would be 50 µm, for example.
Micro CT is now much faster and more suitable for production-line use, while CT scanning of similar parts can be automated using loading and unloading equipment. Scan times down to a few tens of seconds per part are possible.
For further information

Zeiss presents smart measuring lab

At last month’s MACH 2018 exhibition, Zeiss presented an extensive range of measurement and inspection technology, connected by the Zeiss Quality Network solutions.

On the road to Industry 4.0, measuring and inspection technology is increasingly being used as a control tool in manufacturing. However, as part of this new role, the technology needs to capture quality data more flexibly and quickly at different sites: in the measuring room, at-line and in-line. The technology must merge and evaluate this data and make it available to persons and/or machines for control input. That is where the Zeiss Quality Network comes in.
The Zeiss Quality Network offers a partner network for generating, networking and interpreting quality data, whether at supplier facilities, in the measuring lab or in a highly automated manufacturing environment. Software solutions such as Zeiss PiWeb combine the quality data of multiple measuring systems to create graphic measurement reports. This capability enables measuring technology, production and quality management to access all measurement reports anytime and anywhere.
At MACH, the machines on display included the DuraMax shop floor CMM and Prismo bridge-type CMM. Optical systems on the stand included the O-Select digital measuring projector, Comet fringe projection system and O-Inspect 543 multi-sensor measuring machine, along with a Virtual CT system. There was also a number of microscopes available to try, including the LSM 800 particle analyser and Smartzoom 5 automated digital microscope.
For further information

Next generation of digital microscopes

Vision Engineering unveiled the next generation of its Evo Cam digital microscope at the MACH exhibition in Birmingham last month. Suited to close inspection and the recording of high-resolution images, the latest Evo Cam II benefits from the addition of user-customisable overlays, on-board measurement and Wi-Fi image transfer – all supported by a 30:1 optical zoom and a maximum magnification in excess of 3600x.

Evo Cam II replaces the original Evo Cam, which is already used for the inspection of automotive and aerospace components, medical devices, precision engineering, plastic mouldings and more. High-definition images can be captured and stored directly to a USB memory stick. When connected to a PC, images and video can be easily captured, stored and shared. A Wi-Fi dongle even allows direct sharing with PCs, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.
Simple on-screen measurement can be performed with the aid of virtual callipers and scalable grids, while live images can also be compared to user customisable overlays, increasing efficiency of use.
A completely new graphical user interface and intuitive controls with 10 presets, allow for rapid swapping out of subjects under inspection, making Evo Cam II suitable for multiple users in high-speed production environments. A remote control option is available to maximise the ergonomic operation of the microscope when used over prolonged periods.
Evo Cam II features an LED ring light and sub-stage lighting for viewing translucent samples. High-contrast subjects, such as reflective metals used in automotive manufacturing, can be viewed in more detail using Evo Cam II’s Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) mode.
For further information